The 1938 Edition of Popular Mechanics called hemp The New Billion Dollar Crop. (You can see the article here: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/popmech1.htm)
Unfortunately, the Billion Dollar Crop was not meant to be. Randolph Hearst’s newspapers depended on wood (he owned several sawmills) and his investments in timber would be threatened. DuPont’s chemicals were also a factor, in that they were used with the wood pulp to create the paper. Hemp was a threat to timber, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and oil.
What exactly is a cash crop? A cash crop is a crop grown for direct sale, as opposed to being grown for the farmer’s use (livestock feed, etc.). Before prohibition, hemp WAS a cash crop. Hemp was used for food, textiles, fuel, medicine, and housing. It was also used as money. People could pay their taxes with hemp!
Hemp can produce ten times the methanol as corn. Crop rotation is not necessary, as the hemp enriches the soil on its own. It does not need pesticides or herbicides.
Up until the 20th century, hemp WAS the largest cash crop in America.
Today there is a movement to get BACK to hemp. Hemp farming is legal in several states, but getting the permits from the DEA is next to impossible. Farmers WANT to grow hemp. With over 50,000 products that can be produce from hemp, it IS the perfect choice.
Hemp fibers are the longest and strongest in the plant kingdom. Hemp fabric lasts longer than cotton and is less chemical and water intensive.
Hempseeds and hempseed oil are an excellent nutrition source, with the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids, easily digestible proteins, and other nutrients needed for optimum health.
Hemp fuel is safe and clean.
Hemp used in construction means cleaner, stronger structures – and structures made from hemp are carbon neutral; in some cases they are carbon negative.
Hemp fabric and clothing are becoming more popular; hemp foods are found in health food stores, food co-ops, and some grocery stores.
Hemp plastics and automobile components are becoming more popular as well.
Most of the hemp imported into the U.S. comes from Canada and China. New figures show that the U.S. spends more than $300,000,000 per year on hemp products – both finished products and raw hemp.
In Kentucky, lawmakers are promoting hemp as a cash crop.
Willie Nelson, in the following video, explains why hemp farming should be restored to the U.S.
The hemp market is GLOBAL. Imagine if the U.S. could put farmers to work, growing cash crops of hemp, and having the ability to be a SUPPLIER of hemp world-wide. It truly WOULD be a billion dollar crop.